Building dreams

The Shapoorji Pallonji Group is now making a foray into residential development in Bangalore. Prashanth G N offers a sneak peek into the Group’s plans.

Renowned Mumbai-based business conglomerate, the Shapoorji Pallonji (SP) Group is for the first time making a foray into residential development as a full-fledged real estate developer and not as contractor for property construction.

 SP’s historic and first residential launch as developer will kick off from Bangalore on May 9, where the group will formally launch the project, ParkWest, a premium and super luxurious offering of apartments spread over 47 acres at Binny Fields, Binnypet, close to Rajajinagar, Magadi Road and the City Railway Station. This is also the first residential project for SP in the whole of South India.

The residential project will be completed in three phases covering nearly 2,900 apartments in two, three and four bedroom formats, apart from penthouses. The area to be covered will be around five million sq ft with the first phase covering 1 million sq ft. 

The completion of three phases will happen by 2022, while the first phase should be ready in two to three years. The apartments’ costs range from a minimum of Rs 85 lakh to over Rs four crore a piece.

Why Bangalore?

SP CEO Kekoo Colah explains why the Group decided to launch its first residential project in Bangalore. “Bangalore is a growing and vibrant city. The land parcel of 47 acres is very good and the location of the project is exceptional — the heart of the city. To get a good parcel like this one in a city central location is almost impossible now. We think that in terms of scale, it is the right kind of project for us. Small parcels and projects wouldn’t make strategic sense. We are clear that we want to deliver scale.”

When he was asked on how he would look at the immediate vicinity around Binny Fields, which has many slums, Colah agreed there was absolute inequality in the nature of urban growth in India. “Please tell me, where in India you don’t have impoverished areas and slums? And where real estate projects haven’t come up in such areas? But this is very sad. I find it very saddening that India is like this.”

“In fact, many projects have come up in Mumbai where there has been slum re-development and rejuvenation. If you go to Delhi, Kolkata, London, New York and Hong Kong, you will find areas where industrial lands have been converted from manufacturing to residential. There is churn all the time. We have to live with that. Having said that, the scale is good and we want to do something spectacular,” he says.

Inviting IT sector Colah believes the rate of absorption of apartment supply in Bangalore is high and perhaps faster than in other metros, reason why SP chose Bangalore. “There are other reasons too. Of the City’s 10 million population, 10 to 12 per cent belong to the IT sector, which creates 1,00,000 jobs in Bangalore alone. That’s a good section to appeal to.”

He adds, “Families are growing, people are looking for space and upgrading their living. There is steady wealth generation, economic activity and intellectual power in Bangalore. We want to tap into this. We are looking at the top-end of Bangalore’s citizens, the super luxury sector. That is the domain in which we work and we have assessed that there is a market for luxury offerings in Bangalore. Bangalore is also a stable market, while Delhi and Mumbai are a bit volatile and experience fluctuation in prices.”

The Group did not initiate work without having all the permissions in place. “Only when we received the last permission did we begin and decide on the launch. Soon after all the clearances, we did the pre-launch and the response was spectacular. Since we now work as real estate developers rather than as just contractors, we wanted to be sure we had everything in place, in approvals, before we started.”
 Tough competition

The Group CEO sayshe has not underestimated the competition in Bangalore. “There are very good real estate players with real capabilities. We also know that some of them are big players. We are conscious of the business groups here and the work they have done.”

The company has built some very prominent structures in India and abroad. They have interests in construction, real estate, textiles, engineering goods, home appliances, shipping, publications, power, and biotechnology.

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